I did not have problems with my periods until a year ago when I suddenly started to have severe pain every month.
You seem to have secondary dysmenorrhoea as it has appeared several years after you started menstruation. This is probably due to the secretion of a chemical called prostaglandin. Excess secretion and sensitivity to this chemical can cause pain. This may be due to the presence of an intrauterine contraceptive device, uterine polyps, pelvic infection, fibroids or adenomyosis.
An ultrasound scan can determine the cause and offer specific treatment. Otherwise, anti-prostaglandin medication such as mefenamic acid is usually effective.
Weight loss pill
I want to lose weight. Is there a pill I can take?
Weight loss supplements and “natural tablets” may contain ephedrine (in its natural form) and thyroid, both of which can increase your metabolic rate. If you do not have hypothyroidism, then this can be detrimental to your health in the long run. You need to increase activity and decrease intake of food while maintaining a balanced diet so that your body does not suffer from deficiencies. A negative caloric balance of 3,500 calories is equal to 2.2 kilos weight loss.
Lower BP naturally
Is there a way I can reduce my blood pressure without increasing my medication?
You could try a few lifestyle changes, like consuming only 1.5g of salt a day, eating one banana daily (to increase potassium intake), walking for 40 minutes and reducing stress levels with meditation.
Loss of smell
Loss of smell has been widely publicised as a symptom of Covid-19. My sense of smell is poor, so I am worried.
If you had a poor sense of smell before the pandemic started, it might not be due to Covid-19. It may be because of a stuffy nose caused by allergic rhinitis, a deviated nasal septum, polyps obstructing the nose or increasing age.
I am worried I might get the flu. Since it has the same symptoms as Covid-19, I am really scared.
Flu is very contagious, especially during the rainy, cold season when people tend to huddle together. Flu vaccines are available and effective. They need to be taken once a year. A mask will protect you against both Covid-19 and the flu. Take steam inhalations and gargle every day. Antiviral medications like Tamiflu work only if taken within 48 hours. Antibiotics are not effective against flu.
The writer is a paediatrician with a family practice at Vellore and the author of Staying Healthy in Modern India. If you have any questions on health issues please write to email@example.com